Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

While my companions were seeking a suitable spot ... I improved the little daylight that was left in climbing the mountain alone.... I began to work my way, scarcely less arduous than Satan's anciently through Chaos, up the nearest though not the highest peak, at first scrambling on all fours over the tops of ancient black spruce trees (Abies nigra), old as the flood, from two to ten or twelve feet in height, their tops flat and spreading, and their foliage blue, and nipped with cold, as if for centuries they had ceased growing upward against the bleak sky, the solid cold.... This was the sort of garden I made my way over, for an eighth of a mile, at the risk, it is true, of treading on some of the plants, not seeing any path through it,—certainly the most treacherous and porous country I ever traveled.
"Nigh foundered on he fares,
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half flying."
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Ktaadn" (1848) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, pp. 66-68, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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